Eco-friendly light bulbs may be hazardous to skin

New research shows an indoor source of lighting could be harmful to your skin: eco-friendly compact fluorescent light bulbs, HealthDay reported.

Scientists from the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces at Stony Brook University in New York said chipping or cracking in the bulb’s phosphor surface coating allows for ultraviolet rays to escape.

Many bulbs “have cracks in the phosphor coating, probably due to the fact that the coating is brittle and has trouble making the tight bends required to make these bulbs compact," explained the study’s lead author Miriam Rafailovich.  "As a result, we observed, by eye, defects in nearly all the bulbs that we studied."

Many Americans have transitioned from older incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs in order to conserve energy.

Rafailovich said skin cells exposed to these UV emissions showed the same amount of damage as skin cells exposed to UV light when placed less than one foot away from the CFL bulb, according to HealthDay.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and can be found in the recent issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology.

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